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Articles: Assessment

BUILDING BONUS —Island Trees School District in New York saved about $500,000 a year after it reorganized a pair of K4 elementary schools into a K1 building and a school for grades 2 through 4.

Districts devote nearly 80 percent of their budgets to personnel costs—leaving little wiggle room for administrators tasked with maintaining fiscal responsibility and boosting the quality of education in a time of nearly stagnant funding.

Free or low-cost resources exist to help districts start or improve computer science education.

Many states lack well-defined computer science standards; others don’t count computer science courses toward core graduation requirements. And in many districts, computer science courses aren’t reaching enough students.

Jennifer Abrams is a communications consultant and author of Having Hard Conversations, The Multigenerational Workplace: Communicate, Collaborate and Create Community. She can be found at and on Twitter @jenniferabrams.

Positive public relations experiences are critical to our survival as public entities and, unfortunately for many school leaders, we face an uphill climb. According to a June 2016 Gallup poll, only 30 percent of Americans feel “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in public schools, down from an equally disheartening 36 percent when the survey was administered a decade earlier.

Andre Spencer is the superintendent, Rupak Gandhi is the research, data, and accountability officer, and Laurie Eastup is the RDA Coordinator at Harrison School District Two in Colorado Springs.

In the 2010-11 school year, the Harrison School District Two in Colorado Springs began one of the most rigorous pay-for-performance plans in the nation: Called “Effectiveness and Results,” this overhaul of the human capital management system was a risk worth taking because the status quo failed to adequately serve students.

Academic performance levels at Windsor Locks Middle School.

Five years ago, Windsor Locks Public Schools in northern Connecticut was designated an Alliance District, meaning it was one of the 30 lowest-performing academic districts in the state and needed help.

KANSAS CITY, Kansas—Superintendent Cynthia Lane learned the cello a few years ago, but not to fulfill some lifelong dream of soloing with the local symphony. The leader of Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools now performs alongside fourth- and fifth-graders in their annual spring strings concert.

Jean Fleming brings over 25 years of experience in education to her role at the Northwest Evaluation Association, where she specializes in PD practices and instructional supports.

Building teacher capacity is the best way to make sure students grow. The research on this is unequivocal: No single school-based factor impacts student achievement more than the teacher.

Superintendent of School District of Clay County Addison Davis appointed 12 new principals.

Addison Davis, superintendent of the School District of Clay County in Florida, appointed 12 new principals for eight elementary schools, two junior high schools and two high schools to improve teaching and learning.

Scott Poland is co-director of the Suicide and Violence Prevention Office at Nova Southeastern University, where. Vidhi Thakkar is a school psychology doctoral student.

In March, Netflix premiered 13 Reasons Why. The dramatic depictions and riveting subject matter quickly resulted in Netflix declaring the program its most-viewed show.

24/7/365?—Some students at Palm Springs USD, above, can take advantage of programs that run before and after school, Saturdays and during the winter and summer breaks to develop a better grasp of the English language and to learn even more about art, dance and science.

Palm Springs USD helps English language learners find success with an extended instructional program that allows students to practice their English skills before or after school, on Saturdays and during breaks.

Since Houston ISD started using Online Assessment Planning Tool in 2015, web-based assessments there rose from 3 percent to an estimated high of 50 percent by late May 2017. (

Making the transformation from traditional to online assessments can cause confusion for many districts, even when it comes to basic definitions.

John Marschhausen is superintendent of the Hilliard City School District in Columbus, Ohio.

Attending a Disney Institute is eye-opening because the lessons are applicable to what we must be doing in our schools.

Across the country, youngsters in all grades are connecting with senior citizens on projects that transcend community outreach to provide students with true curricular value.

School districts are focusing more attention on manufacturing as the need for middle-skill jobs increases.